Maitetsu: Pure Station (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 03.06.2020 1

Review for Maitetsu: Pure Station on Nintendo Switch

Visual novels come under fire pretty frequently in the debate of whether they are really games or not? Case in point, Maitetsu Pure Station is one of the most recent VNs to be ported to the Nintendo Switch. Brought to the public by a collaboration of Lose and Circle, this port of Sekai Project's PC title comes pre-censored - it is improbable Nintendo would allow an adult-only game release, and given the characters on offer, maybe that is an improvement. Dive on in, and see where the rails take you.

Let this kick off with the most important point. Despite interesting technology and presentation, which has some unique draws, this is unbearably boring. It is tedious, unlike any other visual novel, and it all boils down to having characters who are bland, and a story that moves at a snail's pace, which seems to have been constructed purely to create situations where characters are compromised or having to interact with each other in very... "anime" ways. That isn't to say that this story setup and character won't work for you, but it was quite the slog for this critic.

The world of Maitetsu is very heavily focussed on trains and the changing times. The titular main character unearths a 'railmaster;' a doll which used to be part of a steam train, whom he promptly undresses while trying to work out what it does, when she suddenly wakes up and berates him. This typical anime scenario is also privy to his younger non-blood related sister. From here they go out to check on train lines, and find more railmasters and friends along the way. The main catch here is that the game genuinely tries to teach the player about how railway services work, and goes into depth with the terminology and such, but unfortunately it does this as part of the normal dialogue and not in a less intrusive way like Steins;Gate's glossary/dictionary system which would have helped with story pacing.

Screenshot for Maitetsu: Pure Station on Nintendo Switch

There are some very cool things in this novel, including options to show dual dialogue text so it shows the original Japanese alongside the English, and it also has full voice work, with the actors actually doing a very pleasing job, with plenty of convincing emotion where it's needed. The character artwork is also fantastic, featuring lots of animated features, loads of facial expressions, and some really nice clothing designs. Gameplay is as expected for visual novels - just use the continue button to click through the dialogue. It has features to help with replayability, such as a skip button, plus the typical dialogue autoplay. However, as with most of these it's not the gameplay that matters, as much as modes and unlockables.

Luckily, this has plenty for people who enjoy its story and characters! The unlockables are the normal art screens, but where this game branches out is the ability to adjust poses and character expressions to their preference. Naturally that includes scenes where characters may be wearing less, but given the childlike design of the railmasters it can become overbearingly creepy feeling posing kids in weird lingerie - this is the kind of thing a lot of visual novels feature, and it's well implemented. It may be to the game's benefit that it's not a full-on hentai game this time, but be sure that some people will be out off the higher price for what may feel like a game with reduced feature versus the PC version.

Screenshot for Maitetsu: Pure Station on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

The definition of niche visual novels. It's easy to see that there is probably a demographic for this story and its geeky exploration of trains, but the slow pacing feels wrong. The exploitation of its childlike characters, mixed with a lack of a choice system means that this is very hard to recommend, even though the technology and artwork is commendable.

Developer

Lose

Publisher

CIRCLE Entertainment

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

That first screenshot... Smilie Smilie Smilie Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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